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Comparison of several EPA-recommended US and German well-head protection area delineation methods in agricultural settings

RO Strobl
PD Robillard


Preventive measures for protecting water supplies from contamination necessitates the delineation of well-head protection areas (WHPAs), in which potentially groundwater-endangering activities are strictly regulated and monitored. In the case of private well operators in agricultural settings, there generally exists greater control of restricting and regulating particular
land uses in the proximity of a well-head, than in municipal settings. However, due to typically limited and strained financial resources of farm operators, alternative and affordable WHPA delineation methods would be of great advantage. Consequently, relatively simple and inexpensive well-established German WHPA delineation models were evaluated to several
typically more cost-intensive United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-recommended WHPA delimitation methods in three agricultural settings, located in south-eastern Pennsylvania. The delineation results revealed that several of the German approaches compared fairly well with the more advanced numerical module, which is recommended by the EPA. Hence, German WHPA delineation methods may provide a viable alternative for WHPA delineation in agricultural settings.

Water SA Vol.32 (4) 2006: pp.507-517
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eISSN: 1816-7950
print ISSN: 0378-4738